What real independent journalism looks like. A must read from the start, click the link. Otherwise here are some excerpts:
[…] Eventually the errant protesters were given summons for causing a public disturbance. Protesters accuse the police of causing the problem by letting protesters out onto the roadway in the first place rather than informing them to take the pedestrian way. They also point out that shutting down the bridge for hours caused much more of a public disturbance than letting the protesters pass for 15 minutes. Regardless of any agents provocateurs on both sides, though, it’s a good bet that the bulk of the 700 who got arrested were just sheep, going along with the crowd.
For me, that’s the “narrative”: stupidity and ignorance on both sides cause things like this, rather than malicious intent - barring a few on both sides who want to see the problem escalate. […]
By the way, while Wall Street may be responsible for bad things, it is Wall Street who financed putting a million miles of fiber optic cables crisscrossing continents and under oceans. It is Wall Street that financed the thousands of cell towers. It is Wall Street from which venture capital comes to finance startups like Twitter. Thus, tweeting “Down with capitalism” from your iPhone for those around the word to read seems to be the most ironic thing a person can do. The live stream from the protest site, shared with 12,000 (at this moment) people across the Internet is a testament to Wall Street’s allocation of capital that these protesters fight against. (Obligatory Monty Python reference) […]
The protesters are also predominantly white with blacks underrepresented. On the flip side, blacks are over-represented in the police force. The protesters often compare themselves to the Civil Rights Movement, but the photographs of the recent arrests often show black policemen arresting white protesters. I don’t know if this is a vindication of the Civil Rights Movement or if there is still more work to go, to get the blacks better ensconced in middle-class American to send their kids off to college with that combination of privilege and entitlement that turns them into protesters.
The makeup of the protesters also led to amusement among the cops, stationed in pairs on all four sides of the park. For some, their normal beat is in the poor areas of New York City. The police, who daily see the struggle of the real poor, had little use for protesters complaining about jobs while they carried around expensive MacBook computers paid for by their parents.
I mention the racial makeup for a specific reason. The Tea Party was also predominantly white, which was frequently reported in the news, despite the fact that guidelines tell reporters to avoid mentioning race when it’s not relevant. They nonetheless reported it because it fit the narrative they wanted to tell about the Tea Party (that it has a racist component). In much the same way, they don’t mention the racial makeup of the Occupation because it doesn’t fit their narrative. […]
Here’s my point: the press and pundits have already decided on the “narrative” that’s independent of what’s really going on. For example, many Republicans and Fox News commentators insist that this is “planned” by the left for some nefarious purpose. It isn’t (although that might change if politicos seize control of the occupation). Conversely, the Left has a narrative about police oppression that isn’t quite right, either.
I see a different narrative. The love and acceptance of dissenting views is huge. The intimacy of the occupation over night is amazing. The excitement from the live stream and Twitter feed is infectious. The populism hinting at totalitarianism is frightening. The occasional irony is amusing. More citations are needed.
I think there is something interesting going on here. It’s not just another protest. I think it’s a more enduring addition to our culture. A decade from now, when the U.S. invades France over a cheese dispute, protesters will “occupy” the streets using the same principles being developed now.
Great piece. Click the link and read the whole thing.